Associated Press Published

Manchin Co-Sponsors Bill to Loosen Medical Exams for Private Pilots

Private Plane

An 81-year-old senator who is an avid pilot is trying to loosen medical exam requirements so that private pilots don’t have to make so many doctors’ visits to show they are fit to fly.

Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe had quadruple heart bypass surgery two years ago, but still flies.

His bill would increase the time allowed between exams for pilots over age 40 from every two years to every four years, so long as they also hold a valid driver’s license. Pilots could see any doctor they like instead of a government-approved medical examiner. There would also be no requirement that the doctor certify to the Federal Aviation Administration that the pilot is healthy enough to fly.

The bill’s lead Democratic co-sponsor is Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.